Don’t let your knowledge gather moss, be a rolling stone
My Dad is a man of many sayings. One of his favourites being ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’, no surprise then I have a very dominant cynical gremlin escorting my thoughts!
I can’t blame him, as a career Royal Marine he operated in situations where there is no place for debate, discussion and collaborative decision making, least of all sharing knowledge. After all it is not the best strategic plan to share all you know with those on the other side.
Thankfully the majority of us do not live and work in those situations. So my burning question of late has been why do we still see knowledge as power and something to be guarded not shared? I have been more exposed recently to those who freely and openly share their knowledge, and I have started to question this line of thought The transformative effect these transparent exchanges can be small or great, but what they always foster is a greater sense of community and possibility. (My cynical gremlin still can’t buy into everything being ‘life changing’, but I’m learning to be more open).
We all have specialist knowledge, whether it is connected to what we do for a living, what we love to do in our spare time, or in my case a random collection of home care facts (white vinegar as a limescale remover anyone, cheap and effective)! So what is the difference between those who are willing to share their knowledge and those who guard it? What is the potential in sharing what you know rather than squirrelling it away for your rainy day?
Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.
Super Powered Knowledge Sharers
From what I have experienced those who are free in sharing what they know are happier, more confident and exude clarity in their vision and purpose. They do not fear what others may do with the information they share, in fact they are excited by the possibility of what could be done with it!
I have been fortunate enough to experience some fantastic examples of knowledge sharing. As a student on the The Happy Startup Home School programme I was introduced to a community with an endemic willingness to share what they know. Whilst we pay for the course curation and materials, and rightly so, what comes on top of this are course facilitators and 99 other motivated, giving and inspiring individuals who praise, support and encourage all on the course. No matter if their start up ideas are poles apart, or in direct competition the offers of help, an applied skill set or encouragement are free flowing on our forum. The essence of all The Happy Startup events is collaboration. Not the elite who have ‘made it’ (whatever that means) sitting in an ivory tower trading success stories, but real people who have failed it, made it, failed it and made it again chatting honestly around a camp fire. Now that sounds like the place for me!
Dream Valley Projects are also habitual sharers, on their arrival in Dream Valley their purpose was not to keep this special place a secret for their own enjoyment, but to share it with as many people as possible. They want others to have access to the free range way of life we can create here, even if it is only for a weekend. Snoop Dogg sums up their passion for sharing pretty well (thanks for this one Carl)!
‘“It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none. ”
― Snoop Dogg
They see no fun in an empty playground and their passion is to bring fun into whatever they do. Now that sounds like somewhere I would like to be!
Closer to home Rorie McIntosh Design holds Free Design Fridays. Local businesses can book a one hour session to chat about anything from a website design, to using photoshop, understanding social media or brand strategy to name but a few. The purpose is not to gain paid work from any of these conversations but to provide an accessible source of information to business owners. The benefits to Rorie are that we have visitors to the office (it can be lonely being a remote worked in the mountains, and they often bring cake), he can create an awareness of the importance of good design, and the satisfaction he gets from seeing the steps he has discussed being put into action is immense. Watching those clients taking ownership of the growth of their business is always a moment of pride for him. I get to be there for this one, and it is lovely to see not only the benefit to the local community but also my home.
‘Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you.’
Paul Arden’s concise lessons in ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ are little gold nuggets of wisdom. He raises the idea that when you hoard you are only able to live off your reserves, and eventually those reserves will become stale. If you give everything away you are left with nothing and forced to replenish and refresh. As the cycle repeats so those you share with can replenish and refresh, therefore starting a cycle of their own. Just as a rolling stone gathers no moss those in a collaborative community are shiny moss free individuals rolling along together. They sound like good people to hang out with.
It is worth my presenting the other side of the argument? Is it necessary to discuss those who don’t share their knowledge? I don’t know about you but I’m sold on the above. If knowledge is power then shared knowledge is super powered, and I like the sound of that!
How I will share my knowledge going forward?
The Chalet Fairy will share tips for the ski season weekly this winter.
Collaboration with Dream Valley Projects to create more free range business events, we know the Dream Valley inside out and can make your dream event come true.
I will continue to offer a free CV screening and feedback service to those students attending the chalet cookery course I tutor on.
Want to become a super powered knowledge sharer? Check out these guys…
Sarah Strachan (if you want to learn how to make the pixies)!